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Born To Do This: JCI MUA Graduate Gracen Marie Smith Takes IMATS Atlanta

16
11.2018

Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Gracen Marie Smith knew she wanted a career in the makeup industry at the age of eleven. Inspired by John Casablancas Institute Makeup Artistry graduates Samantha Ravandahl and Leigh Dickson, Gracen wanted to perfect her makeup skills to become just as skilled of a makeup artist as these two Instagram influencers.

And so she packed her bags and moved to Vancouver in October 2017. The blooming film industry was just one of the reasons Gracen decided to move, the other reason was due to the environmental aspects. She felt more at home in Vancouver almost immediately than she did back in Texas.

“Vancouver has everything I’ve ever wanted, the four seasons, the oceans, the mountains and a beautiful city that wasn’t congested, such as my own. I couldn’t pass up such a wonderful, progressive and accepting community.” 

From practicing makeup on herself and friends from a young age, Gracen was beyond thrilled when she enrolled in the JCI Makeup Artistry Program. Learning that Samantha Ravandahl and Leigh Dickson graduated from JCI, she knew that this school would be a much better option for her than elsewhere.

“After looking further into the curriculum, my heart was set on attending JCI. No one else had such a well-rounded course or more impressive graduates, and I stand by that statement!” 

She describes her time at JCI as one she’ll never forget. From not having many friends back in Texas, Gracen was more than lucky to have classmates who became family. She thanks JCI Instructors Marie Zampini and Darci Jackson for helping build her confidence throughout the program and providing constructive criticism.

Gracen had been working at London Drugs as a Beauty Advisor while going to school. She has also been considering coming back to JCI for the Hair Art Design Program.

And just when things couldn’t get better…

Gracen has been accepted to compete in the IMATS Atlanta Battle of the Brushes competition in the Beauty/Fantasy Makeup category. She will be creating a white light forest witch character for the competition, drawing inspiration from Stevie Nicks and her 2016 trip to Salem, Massachusetts.

“Getting invited to IMATS is the most prized moment throughout my career so far, other than moving to Vancouver. I am beyond thrilled to be competing and I have JCI to thank for making this dream possible.” 

Advice from Gracen to aspiring makeup artists:

“You gotta kick all your fears in the face because everyone out here is probably just as nervous about the future as you are. My anxiety definitely gets the best of me sometimes and it’s difficult to stay motivated, but more great things have happened when I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone.”

“There’s gonna be things you don’t feel confident about at first, but you have to keep trying. This Stevie quote from a Fleetwood Mac concert I attended keeps me going when I need it: ‘Don’t give up. Don’t take no for an answer. Don’t let other people tell you who you should be and what you should do. If I had let everyone else tell me what I should be and what I should do, I would be a school teacher today and not a rock star. And not a songwriter. And not happy. Nobody else really knows what you want except you. Don’t give up the fight.’

We are so excited to see Gracen compete at the 2018 IMATS Atlanta Battle of the Brushes.

Keep up with Gracen via Instagram


JCI’s Makeup Artistry Diploma Program has gained an industry-wide reputation for excellence, giving students an exceptional network of contacts and resources when they enter the marketplace. During the 10-month full-time program, students study everything from glamor and special occasion makeup to special effects makeup and prosthetics application techniques. With classes limited to 16 students, individualized attention and encouragement foster each student’s personal and professional growth potential.

John Casablancas Institute is the pioneer of prosthetic lab techniques and face casting in Western Canada. This advanced level of training affords our graduates amazing opportunities and a significant advantage for a career in film, TV or theater.

Davneet Dhillon,
Blog / Features / Makeup

Born To Do This: Cassidy Alana Blackall-Krantz, JCI Makeup Artistry Graduate Working in the Film Industry

14
11.2018

It’s early morning on set of a new film and Cassidy Alana Blackall-Krantz thinks to herself, “This can’t be real,” as she fishes through her makeup kit to find that perfect contouring brush. To think that she could’ve been stuck in an office with loads of paperwork had she gone to Law school as originally planned. Now she is living her dream as a makeup artist and happier than ever.

Born and raised in Maple Ridge, B.C., Cassidy has always stayed close to Vancouver. Her love for horror movies and special effects inspired her to get into the makeup industry. She was also influenced by JCI Makeup graduates Samantha St. John, (whom she has become close friends with), Samantha Ravandahl and Kimberley Margarita.

“Anytime I watched a movie I was curious to break it down and see how the special effects were done. I became interested in beauty makeup throughout high-school, and one day it kind of hit me that I could combine my love of special fx and beauty into one amazing passion. It’s a bonus that I get paid to do the things I love.” 

After weighing in the pros and cons of schooling, it was clear to Cassidy that she belonged at John Casablancas Institute. She enrolled in the JCI Makeup Artistry Program, which teaches both beauty makeup and special effects. She was certain that she could change her dreams into reality within this program.

“JCI was organized, professional and an amazing school that helped students in each industry. I noticed that anyone successful in makeup happened to be following JCI or were a graduate/instructor of JCI.” 

Cassidy enjoyed her 10-months at JCI and her instructors were to thank for her amazing experience. Each of her instructors were informative and guided her in the right path. Upon graduation, JCI graduate and head of the Special Effects Makeup Department, Tracy Lai, gave her key position to Cassidy to work on a Langara film project, as well as a feature film, which ended up being Cassidy’s first feature film as a Key Makeup Artist.

“I met a lot of amazing people, and learned so many things I wouldn’t have been able to do on my own. JCI definitely set me up for success. They helped me jump right into the working world with amazing contacts and jobs that were given me to give me as a head start.” 

The feature film was a Bollywood film which Cassidy brought Krista Hann, MUA graduate from JCI, onto as her assistant. After the movie wrapped up, Cassidy was hired onto a production company which deals with producing music videos and many feature films. She was recently offered a feature film by SugarShark Productions which she will be Keying as well.

“I wanted to open doors for Krista as Tracy had done for me. This industry is all about helping each other.” 

The piece of advice Cassidy would give to aspiring makeup artists is to keep connections and stay kind to everyone you work with, as it can really come back to hurt you if you don’t. It’s important to be humble and always remember there is more to learn no matter how experienced you are. She also stresses to always be prepared— even if you think you don’t need it, chances are you do.

“If I could do makeup on any celebrity, I think it would have to be Halsey. She’s a peach, and it would be nuts to see my makeup go with her music as she’s always been someone I looked up to.”

Cassidy has been featured in IMDb as Head of Makeup Department. Seeing her work pay off and being recognized by professionals was a prized moment throughout her career so far. We are so excited to continue following Cassidy and her growing success in the film industry.

“I don’t feel like a student anymore, though I miss it, I feel like I’m finally who I’m supposed to be.”


JCI’s Makeup Artistry Diploma Program has gained an industry-wide reputation for excellence, giving students an exceptional network of contacts and resources when they enter the marketplace. During the 10-month full-time program, students study everything from glamor and special occasion makeup to special effects makeup and prosthetics application techniques. With classes limited to 16 students, individualized attention and encouragement foster each student’s personal and professional growth potential.

John Casablancas Institute is the pioneer of prosthetic lab techniques and face casting in Western Canada. This advanced level of training affords our graduates amazing opportunities and a significant advantage for a career in film, TV or theater.

Davneet Dhillon,
Blog / Fashion

Where To Shop For Your New Years Eve Glam Dress

13
11.2018

In order to get that perfect dress that will allow you to stand out in the crowd at your New Years Eve party this year, you definitely need to plan ahead. These days online shopping is the best way to find glam dresses. We’ve narrowed it down to the most trending online shops for you to check out. Get your credit cards ready and begin scrolling.

PRETTYLITTLETHING 

If you follow Kourtney Kardashian on Instagram then you’ve definitely heard of Pretty Little Thing. This Kardashian sister collaborated with PLT and came out with her own collection for the brand.

With a wide range of dresses to choose from, including cocktail dresses, sequin dresses, blazer dresses and more, you’re bound to find the absolute chic party dress on this website.

REVOLVE

Revolve has grown rapidly in the fashion world to a billion-dollar company that many bloggers have collaborated with, including JCI Fashion Business & Creative Arts graduate Emma Leger.

Not only is this brand known for its boho-chic Coachella outfits, but Revolve also carries a variety of dresses from glitter gowns to slit cocktail dresses.

FASHIONNOVA

This popular fashion label that has an entire selection of Kylie Jenner inspired looks, yes that’s right, an entire category to shop Kylie’s outfits. FashionNova is a must-shop website with reasonably priced outfits and tons of party dresses.

HELLO MOLLY

Hello Molly is an Australian brand for those who want a Cinderella-type of New Year’s Eve. This leading online boutique has a large category of short and sweet party dresses as well as gowns that make you feel as if you’re in a fairytale.


Love fashion and want to make it your career? JCI Institute Vancouver’s Fashion Business & Creative Arts Diploma Program provides students with a comprehensive overview of the fashion industry, combining creative and business elements. This diverse approach gives our fashion school grads a distinct advantage both in knowledge and skill. Prepare for many jobs in the fashion industry, including becoming a fashion buyer, fashion stylist, or for work in fashion merchandising. If becoming a fashion designer is more your speed, choose our Core Fashion Program. This course at our fashion design institute will give you all the skills you need to be a fashion designer. Choose between our fashion programs to find the best fit for you!

Davneet Dhillon,
Blog / Fashion

Fashion Influencers You Should Be Following On Instagram

06
11.2018

These “It” ladies of Instagram will give you front-row access to fashion shows, collaborations with designer brands and behind the scenes of what it’s like being a fashion blogger.

If you’re looking for the latest trends in fashion and inspiration on how to take blog-worthy pictures, then get your Instagram running and prepared to follow these popular influencers.

Aimee Song / @songofstyle

If you’re not following the ultimate fashionable “It” girl on Instagram Aimee Song, known by her username @songofstyle, then you definitely have a lot of catching up to do. She is the bestseller of her novel, Capture Your Style, which teaches you how to transform your Instagram photos, and now she has released her second novel, World of Style.

This fashionista is unstoppable. From book tours to runways and collaborations with designer brands such as Celine, Chanel, and Dior, Aimee Song is a fashion icon.

Dani Song / @songdani

Imagine having a sister who is also a fashion blogger? Well, that’s the life of Aimee and Dani Song. Dani has more of an edgy and rebellious fashion sense compared to Aimee, and we are totally digging it. She has also collaborated with many designer brands including Michael Kors, Adidas, and Dior.

With over a million followers, this duo holds the ultimate sister goals award.

Lauyrn Evarts Bosstick / @theskinnyconfidential

With over 737k followers and a perfect pink Instagram theme, Lauryn Evarts Boostick is a host of her podcast The Skinny Confidential, on iTunes with co-host and partner Michael Bosstick

Lauryn is also a Youtube influencer and uses her Instagram to show off her chic looks while giving beauty advice at the same time.

Marianna Hewitt / @marianna_hewitt

Marianna Hewitt is the co-founder of her beauty brand Summer Fridays and has close to a million followers on Instagram. She has been nominated for three Revolve awards this year, Influencer of the Year, Beauty Influencer of the Year, and Youtube Channel of the Year.

This blogger is not only a go-getter but also a trendsetter. Keep up with Marianna’s beauty secrets on her blog, Life With Me.

Alyssa Lenore / @alyssa.lenore 

With a creative eye in interior design and a New York style, Alyssa Lenore has the perfect aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed. She has partnered with brands including Ralph Lauren, Elizabeth Arden, and many others.

Who are your favorite bloggers on Instagram?


Love fashion and want to make it your career? JCI Institute Vancouver’s Fashion Business & Creative Arts Diploma Program provides students with a comprehensive overview of the fashion industry, combining creative and business elements. This diverse approach gives our fashion school grads a distinct advantage both in knowledge and skill. Prepare for many jobs in the fashion industry, including becoming a fashion buyer, fashion stylist, or for work in fashion merchandising. If becoming a fashion designer is more your speed, choose our Core Fashion Program. This course at our fashion design institute will give you all the skills you need to be a fashion designer. Choose between our fashion programs to find the best fit for you!

Davneet Dhillon,
Blog / Events

7 Things To Do This Month In Vancouver: The November Edition

05
11.2018

Hello November, the month of preparing for the holiday season and embracing the rainy weather in Vancouver. With the gloomy weather and early sunsets, it’s definitely harder to find activities to do in the Fall season. However, we’ve come up with a list of a few things to make your weekends enjoyable in the city this month.

7 Things To Do This Month in Vancouver: 

Eat! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival 

Returning for the 16th year, the Eat! Vancouver food and cooking festival is back with award-winning local chefs and special guests from Canada and the United States. This festival will take place from November 5th to the 10th at multiple venues in the city.

Click here to purchase tickets.

The Surrey Light Festival

The City of Surrey and Telus invited you to the light display festival at Bear Creek Park from November 4th to the 10th from 6 PM to 10 PM daily. The lights will be displayed, rain or shine, and people are reminded to bring a flashlight and dress warmly.

With food trucks and entertainment, this event is free and perfect for families. Experience beautiful sparkling lights throughout the gardens of Bear Creek Park.

Couture Beyond Exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery 

This has got to be a must-see exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery for all fashion enthusiasts. Couture Beyond showcases all of the Chinese fashion designer Guo Pei’s designs over the past decade.

Guo Pei is known to design beautiful and detailed dresses for Chinese celebrities. Remember Rihanna’s jaw-dropping trailing yellow gown at the 2015 Met Ball? Well, you should because it was absolutely breathtaking and designed by the one and only, Guo Pei.

With more than 40 designs shown at the Vancouver Art Gallery, this exhibit will be displayed until mid-January 2019.

Click here to purchase tickets online.

Lafarge Lake Lights 

Grab a hot cocoa to go and take a stroll through one of the largest and free light displays at Lafarge Lake. Starting November 24th, the lights will stay on from dusk to 11 PM daily. Get in the holiday spirit with ten themed zones at this lake, located in Town Centre Park – 1299 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam.

Onesie Bar Crawl 

What’s better than a pub crawl? Definitely, one where you can dress in a comfy onesie’s and go straight to bed afterward, duh. Vancouver will be hosting a onesie bar crawl with themed DJ parties with music from the 80s, 90s, and 2000s, oh and a neon party.

Could it get any better? Yes! Exclusive drinks and food will be available at every venue you go too. With more than five venues, this is one bar crawl you don’t want to miss on November 17th from 6 PM to 10 PM. (Check-in begins at 4 PM).

Click here for more information and tickets.

Vancouver Christmas Night Market

The 9th annual Vancouver Christmas night market returns on November 21st and will be open until Christmas Eve. This German-inspired market consists of traditional foods and drinks and many crafted goods that you can purchase.

Enjoy live entertainment and kids activities at this years night market, located at the Jack Poole Plaza- 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver.

Click here to purchase tickets.

Vancouver Canucks

Not in the holiday spirit yet? No worries. You can enjoy your weekends by going out to Rogers Arena and cheering on our home team, the Vancouver Canucks. With various games, this month keep up with the hockey season schedule here.

 

 

Davneet Dhillon,
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